La Alhambra

During my sister’s visit in February we took a road trip to Granada. On our second day there we toured La Alhambra. La Alhambra is absolutely breathtaking. The castle, gardens and Alcazaba date back to the 9th century! We did a self-guided tour and packed in as much as we could in the few hours we had to spend there. If you’re ever in Southern Spain I definitely suggest a trip to Granada and La Alhambra. Below you’ll see some of my favorite photos of the day. The detail in the castle are simply stunning. I was in awe!

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Six Unbelievably Wonderful & Amazing Months of Marriage

“But love, I’ve come to understand, is more than three words mumbled before bedtime. Love is sustained by action, a pattern of devotion in the things we do for each other every day.” -Nicholas Sparks

This may sound cliche…ok, this absolutely sounds cliche…but I guess time flies when you’re having fun! Today marks 6 months since Marcus and I tied the knot, and it has been – hands down – the best 6 months of our life together. During our engagement we both heard on many occasions, and from various different people, that marriage changes things. Marcus and I talked about what we possibly thought could change given that we had already been living together for 3+ years, and neither of us could come up with much. I believe we felt we were already in the groove of being together, living together, loving each other, and that marriage would simply change my name and we’d finally have the coveted title of Mr. and Mrs., Husband and Wife.

During our engagement I was so excited to become his wife, but I didn’t really know what to expect. You often hear that the first year of marriage is the hardest, and that being married is a lot of work. None of this worried me because I know that we both love each other and that we will stand by each others’ side through anything life throws our way. I’d have to say that I really feel we are lucky in love because marriage has been nothing short of a dream come true. Honestly.

That’s not to say that things stayed the same. You may be wondering if anything changed… Yes! A lot changed, and I must say it was pleasantly surprising. I will speak for myself here, but I know my husband shares my feelings on many of the things I’m about to say.

I have a new sense of confidence in our relationship. This is not to say that I did not have confidence in our relationship before. However, now that we are married I have a new feeling of assurance that we will get through anything and everything, together. This confidence is the best feeling in the world.

-I no longer get bothered by the ‘little things’. Everyone has little things they do, and sometimes after living with someone for awhile little things can start to irritate you. I have noticed that the little things my husband does are no longer bothersome to me. Some of this comes from the fact that I am looking at things differently. I make the choice to not let silly little things bother me, because what good does that do for anyone? And part of this comes from knowing that these little things are just that, little things, and it’s better to learn to live with them and embrace (and maybe even love and find joy in…) them rather than nagging and letting these things turn into something bigger.

-I am my husband’s wife. This is a bit of an obvious one, but these words have so much meaning. Husband.  Wife. I did not realize how much I would enjoy saying these words, out loud, to anyone (and everyone), whenever possible. These words have a way of making me feel so very wonderful. I love being my husband’s wife.

-We are playing new roles in our relationship. When we were dating I think that we were both a little more selfish, which isn’t a bad thing! However, now that we are married we have both stepped up to our new roles. I know that we both value these new roles and take them seriously. On a daily basis I think about the wife my husband deserves, and I strive to be that person.

-We have the conversations you think about having with your husband or wife. We always had (pretty) good communication in our relationship, but now we are on a whole new level. We open up our communication to very deep conversations about the past, where we have come from, and the wounds that we may carry. We also open up our communication to our future, where we want to be, and how we are going to get there. Some of the conversations we have had in the past 6 months have been the most important conversations I’ve had in my life. I am so thankful to be sharing these conversations, feelings and thoughts with my husband.

Some of the daily things I focus on in our marriage are:

-Taking pride in our marriage, and in being my husband’s wife. 

-Having the utmost respect for my husband, and our marriage.

-Being filled with joy everyday that my husband has chosen to spend his life with me.

These simple, daily thoughts have aided in ensuring that our newlywed life together has been everything (and more) than we could have dreamt of. I am confident that the months and years to come will follow suit and be just as amazing, and even more so, than our first six months!

Cheers to love, life, and happily ever after LP7A8619

Granada – Day 1

My sister, Vanessa, graduated last year from Vanderbilt with her Master’s degree in Women’s Health as a Nurse Practitioner. This year she landed her first job in her new profession, and I couldn’t be more proud! On a bit of a whim, she decided to treat herself to a much deserved vacation before she jumped head first into her new career. Lucky me she decided to come to Europe and her last stop was Southern Spain! We took an amazing road trip to some of the must-see sights in Andalucía and our first stop was Granada.

When we finally arrived in Granada (about a 2 1/2 hour drive) we couldn’t figure out why everyone was staring at us in our car. Then we realized that we still had our California plates on the car. Most people probably hadn’t ever seen an American license plate! We got a lot of funny looks. Once we got all checked into our hotel we set off on our first adventure. We were headed out into town to explore. We were able to find our way to a bus stop with ease and hop on board to go to the Albaicín district. This area of town is the ‘old town’ lined with cobblestone streets and some wonderful buildings.

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Our first stop was at an amazing overlook that had amazing views! We took the opportunity to take a photo.


While we were enjoying the overlook we saw a cafe on the street below. We decided to make our way there as it was less crowded and we were ready to warm up a little with some drinks and good conversation. It was such a great find and if you go to Granada I highly suggest you find this place!

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IMG_4112We took advantage of the empty restaurant and relaxed there for quite some time while we talked about our plans for the rest of the afternoon and the following day. Vanessa had purchased a wonderfully informative travel book from Lonely Planet and it had a ton of suggestions for things to do in the area as well as a ‘must see/must do’ list. Alhambra was of course on the list and we (luckily) were able to get some last minute tickets for the following morning! Just a heads up – get your Alhambra entry tickets in ADVANCE! I had been keeping an eye on the tickets the week leading up to our visit, and there were plenty available. I had every intention to purchase them online a day or two before we arrived in Granada, but it slipped my mind. Once we arrived in Granada and decided we would visit Alhambra the following morning, all the tickets were sold out! After a few panic stricken moments, and some googling, I found out that the La Caixa ATM’s also sold tickets. We high tailed it to the nearest ATM and were able to secure our tickets for the following morning. I definitely learned my lesson there to plan ahead, throughly!


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IMG_4193IMG_4192After we left the Albaicín district we took our time meandering the streets and making our way back down the hill towards our hotel. During our walk we passed by a church. Every church/cathedral in Spain is breathtakingly gorgeous. We popped in for a moment to check out the beauty. My husband took a moment to say some prayers. I don’t know who or what he was praying for, but boy did I fall a little more in love with him in that moment. He never ceases to amaze me with his spirit.

We continued on our way and we stopped into a few places to grab a caña (a small glass of beer) and a bite to eat. We had heard that the tapas in Granada were amazing, but we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into! We ordered one of my favorite foods, croquetas de jamón, unaware that we would be getting complimentary tapas with our drinks.

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Not only was the plate of tapas HUGE, the croquetas were also the largest I have ever seen! We happily indulged until we could not possibly eat anymore. We had to turn away food with our next round of drinks. As long as you order drinks they will keep the food coming! We were officially ready to call it a night after a long day of traveling and exploring. We just happened to stumble upon a hookah bar on our way back to our hotel, and who can say no to hookah?! Not us! We had a nightcap of some delicious tea and more hookah than we could smoke. It was the perfect end to our day! Stay tuned for the next of our adventures with Vanessa!

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